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Lagos State discharges 93 more coronavirus patients

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Lagos State Government has announced the recovery and discharge of additional 93 patients who tested negative twice for the coronavirus.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement on Monday said that 1,512 patients had so far been discharged from isolation centres in the state.

Good people of Lagos, 93 more #COVID19 Lagos patients: 16 females and 77 males including 11 foreign nationals were discharged from our isolation facilities today to reunite with the society.

”The patients: 11 from Agidingbi, 22 from Gbagada, 36 from Lekki, 8 from Eti-Osa (LandMark), 9 from Onikan and 7 from LUTH isolation centres were discharged after full recovery and testing negative for COVID-19.

This brings to 1,512, the number of #COVID19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The state COVID-19 Incident Commander urged residents to continue to adhere strictly to physical distancing and hand hygiene principles, ”For A COVID-19 Free Lagos.”

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Tallen assures FG’s commitment to end violence against women, children

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to inaugurate an Inter-Ministerial Gender-Based Violence Management Committee to address all forms of violence against women and children in Nigeria.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, made this known at the virtual meeting on the 2020 State of the World Population (SWOP) Report titled: “Against my will: Defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality” in Abuja on Thursday.

Tallen said that the President had also directed the Inspector-General of Police to deal with perpetrators in furtherance of the declaration of zero tolerance to rape and other Gender-Based Violence.

She reiterated the commitment of the Buhari-led government to end violence against women, saying there was a stronger collaboration with the police to bring perpetrators to book.

She added that “we are constantly engaging with the Nigeria Police on the need to promptly address issues of rape and GBV in the country.

“In the same vein, the Nigeria Governors Forum in June declared State of Emergency on rape in all the 36 states of the federation.”

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The minister, however, noted that Nigeria had recorded a spike on Gender-Based Violence, with an unprecedented surge in rape cases of both minors and older persons.

She described the situation as “so depressing; it is a pandemic in a pandemic.”

She expressed worry not only on the violence, but the economic hardship being experienced by women occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She explained that “Nigeria, like many other countries, has recorded a spike in gender-based violence and an unprecedented surge in rape cases, even of minors and older persons.

“With the restriction placed on movements, household incomes became negatively impacted in many developing countries such as ours where women have greater representation in the informal sector.”

Tallen warned that the situation had partly led to food insecurity, poverty, and malnutrition, thereby increasing gender inequality.

The minister said that the ministry had made efforts to generate data to ascertain the level of the negative impact of the lockdown on women’s’ means of income.

“To further ascertain the extent which these businesses were affected, the ministry, in collaboration with the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and SME is also working.

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“We undertook a National Survey on the impact of COVID-19 on Women-led Businesses in Nigeria and the report was launched in June to coincide with the UN Micro-Small and Medium-size Enterprises Day,” she said.

She pointed out that the 2020 SWOP Report did not only highlight the magnitude of harmful practices against women and girls, it provided guidance to government and partners on what was required to eliminate such acts.

child marriage, female genital mutilation, and son preference.

 

According to her, the report predicts that an additional 13 million children risk early marriage between 2020 and 2030; the deadline set by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The women affairs minister, therefore, called for drastic actions to change entrenched cultural practices and attitudes that dehumanize and enslave women.

Tallen reassured that the Federal Government like other governments across the world was committed not only to eliminate harmful practices against women and girls; but also curb the rampaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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She said “let me assure you that the Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable in the society, especially women and girls, are protected.

“This has made government at all levels to respond positively to the national outcry that trailed the unacceptable trends and patterns witnessed in the last few months.”

She then commended the Senate President and the senate for rising to the challenge by passing a bill for an act to prevent, prohibit, and redress sexual harassment of students in tertiary educational institutions and for matters concerned.

Tallen expressed optimism that the bill would go a long way to bring about the much-needed sanity in Nigerian institutions of higher learning including lecturers when fully operational.

She saluted the UN system in the country led by Edward Kallon “for the immense support”,  especially the contributions of UN Women, UNICEF, and UNAIDS.

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17 hospital pharmacists test positive for COVID-19

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Seventeen front line pharmacists across the country have tested positive for COVID-19, with two dying from complications of the disease.

The development is coming one month after six front line pharmacists across the country reportedly got infected and presently recuperating in isolation centres.

A source told PUNCH HealthWise that hospital pharmacists in Edo (7) and Lagos (5) states accounted for 60 per cent of the cases.

Others were Bayelsa (2), Akwa Ibom (1), Ebonyi (1) and Rivers (1).

While noting that most of the affected pharmacists were front line health workers in federal hospitals and isolation centres, the source said inadequate personal protective equipment, late payment of hazard allowances and poor training of health officials, especially those combating the disease, contributed to the problems.

“As we speak, only very few institutions have N95 face masks. Some are provided with cloth face masks to complement the inadequacies, even when it was obvious that those cloth masks could not offer any form of protection against COVID-19.

“Many of us procured the PPE out of our own pockets, as few centres provide gowns, face shield and goggles. You need to visit some of these facilities to fully understand our plight,” he added.

When contacted, the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria confirmed the report, saying that conventional drug stores are also unsafe, as there thousands of community pharmacists who are daily exposed to pre-clinical or asymptomatic patients who still see pharmacies as their first port of call.

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AHAPN chairman, Dr. Kingsley Amibor, also lamented that two deaths recorded was as a result of complications from COVID-19.

He attributed the loss of the health workers to inadequate protective personal equipment and poor funding in isolation centres and health facilities battling COVID-19 in the country.

“Aside from inadequate PPE, we have also been complaining about space constraints, making it difficult to practise patient confidentiality; poor funding for drug procurement, inequitable remuneration and no opportunity for pharmacovigilance,” Amibor said.

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Any hand sanitizer containing methanol could kill you – FDA

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The United States agency, Food & Drug Administration, says any hand sanitizer that contains methanol could kill if it gets to the mouth.

The agency also warned that the volatile chemical could be dangerous when absorbed through the skin.

Hand sanitizer use became common globally after health authorities said that rubbing it on the hands in the absence of clean water and soap could help in reducing the possibility of being infected with the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has killed at least 584,355 people worldwide, with more than 13.6 million infected.

The FDA issued warnings about 59 different hand sanitizers, many of which are said to contain methanol, which can be dangerous when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

All of the sanitizers under the FDA warning list appear to have originated from Mexico.

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In June, the FDA warned Americans not to use nine “toxic” hand sanitizers made by Mexico-based Eskbiochem SA de CV with, each containing varying amounts of methanol, some as high as 90 per cent.

Tests found that the CleanCare No Germ line contained 28 per cent methanol, while Lavar Gel contained a whopping 81 percent of the toxin, the FDA said.

Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening when ingested.

According to the FDA, exposure to methanol-based hand sanitizer can cause nausea, vomiting, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death.

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects,” the agency stated.

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Ethanol is sugary and is produced from crops such as corn and barley, while methanol is made from wood.

Young children who accidentally ingest these products, as well as those who drink them as a substitute for alcohol, are most at risk at of methanol poisoning, according to the FDA.

The FDA advised consumers to stop using hazardous products and immediately dispose of them in appropriate waste containers, without flushing them down the drain.

Meanwhile, the agency advised people to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom; before eating; after coughing; sneezing or blowing someone else’s nose.

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If soap and water are unavailable, an alcohol-based sanitizer is recommended, which contains at least 60 percent ethanol, according to guidance from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommend ethanol-based hand sanitizers of at least 60 per cent if soap and water are unavailable

The agency now warns against use of hand sanitizers made by firms including AAA Cosmetica, 4E Global and DDI Multinacional.

Other brands include Tropicosmeticos, Limpo QUimocos and Maquiladora Miniara.

AAA Cosmetica have since announced that they are voluntary recalling all of its hand sanitizer which reportedly contains methanol.

The FDA warned that it had seen “a sharp increase” in hand sanitizer products that contain ethanol which have been contaminated with methanol.

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